16 Jul 2008

Indian pilgrims to meet Immigration Service

6:11 am on 16 July 2008

Some of the Indian pilgrims who absconded in New Zealand en route to the World Youth Day, are to meet Immigration officials on Wednesday.

Another seven members of the original group of 220 travelling via Auckland to see the Pope in Australia have absconded - bringing the total to 39.

Most are young males who left their luggage behind at the homes where they were billeted.

Some had paid the equivalent of $NZ15,000 to agents in India

believing they were moving to New Zealand for good. Instead, they have a 30 day visa.

An Auckland Justice of the Peace, Daljit Singh, says at least two will be interviewed by the Immigration Service, about the scam.

He understands that more members of the group will try to abscond in Australia.

The rest of the party went to Sydney on various flights on Tuesday.